There’s no right or wrong way to be a freelance writer. Everyone has a different formula for success. What works for me, might not work for you. That’s why I love the Internet. So many freelance writers are sharing their experiences, it’s interesting to see how different writers are tacking their careers. Inspiration and motivation is never a bad thing. Take the holidays, for example. Some freelance writers choose this time to step away from their laptops for a few days, while others use this time to pick up work during a time when traditionally fewer freelancers are looking for work. Again, there’s no right and wrong.
Whether or not you decided to vacate during the holidays, consider these common mistakes made by freelance writers during the holidays season.
1. Not checking email: Emergencies happen. Clients may need to source a quote or have you resend a file. If you’re on vacation they probably don’t want to bother you, but what if they need a crucial bit of information before publishing? Checking your email at least once a day may put you in a position to save a project. At the very least your clients know they can count on you at all times.
2. Not checking in with clients: As mentioned above, stuff happens. Taking 30 seconds to say, “Happy Holidays” or “Do you have everything you need before I take time off?” can prevent disaster. Your clients will appreciate your professionalism and you can take a few days away with a clear mind.
3. Not taking time for yourself and your family: It’s the holidays. Earning extra money and building a client base is fine, but don’t forget to take time off for what’s really important. You and your family. Having fun, sleeping late and enjoying good company will allow for rejuvenation. Besides, you won’t be distracted while having regrets or watching everyone around you enjoy themselves.
4. Not looking for work: Take some time out now and then to see if what kind of jobs are floating around. Even if you won’t be working, it can’t hurt to send out a query or respond to a job ad. It doesn’t mean you have to start right away, but the last thing you want is to miss out on a good opportunity because you weren’t paying attention to the ads.
5. Taking on new clients during the holiday lull without thinking ahead: If you’re taking on extra clients during the holidays, consider what having those new clients will do for your freelance writing load once the holiday season ends. You may find yourself with too much work or in a stressful situation because you can’t keep up. By all means, keep up the client hunt but be realistic as well. Before taking on any new work, make sure you can keep it up once the holiday lull ends.
Whether you decided to take a break or work through the holidays, be sure to remain professional and make sure all your clients’ needs are met before you shut down…and don’t forget to take time for yourself. You deserve the break!